Our friends at Hagerty are always keeping close tabs on car owners – and ensuring that their
unfortunate losses can be lessons for all. Here’s a tale of a teddy gone rogue, and how this baby bear
made some big trouble for unsuspecting drivers.
VEHICLE INVOLVED: 1936 Ford coupe
WHAT WENT WRONG: Ah, the innocent teddy bear. The soft and cuddly children’s toy is as
intimidating as a new puppy. Until one gets lost on a busy highway, of course.
The owner of a 1936 Ford coupe was cruising on U.S. Route 101 in California when the vehicles on
his right began to slow in order to straddle a teddy bear in the road. The driver of a 2007 Scion Model
TC, distracted by the radio, saw the bear at the last moment and swerved to miss it, colliding with the
DAMAGE/LOSS: No one was hurt—including the teddy bear—but damage to the Ford was extensive.
The passenger door took the brunt of the impact. Repair costs totaled more than $10,000, which
LESSON: When it comes to your own driving, keep your eyes moving. Watch the car in front of you,
and maintain a reasonable distance. Also, take an occasional glance at the cars farther ahead; watch
for brake lights and sudden movements. Avoid distractions, particularly in heavy traffic.
Don’t text and drive. Need something in the back seat? Drop something? Wait to grab it, or pull over
so you can pick it up when the car is stopped. Watch for animals or objects in the road, and do not
swerve to miss anything unless it’s a person or something so large that it might kill you if you hit it.
Bottom line: no car is worth a life.
With that said, think back to your early driving days. One of the first lessons we’re taught is that even
the best drivers in the world can’t control what other drivers do. So, expect the unexpected. Even the
smallest, most harmless-seeming objects or distractions can wreak havoc on the highway.
The collector car market was split in 2017. Hagerty’s list of the highest auction sale prices for
American cars is evenly divided between massive, open-top prewar machines and lithe postwar
sports cars. Here are five American cars that broke the million-dollar barrier last year.
5. 1948 Tucker 48, RM Sotheby’s Arizona: $1,347,500 (including premium)
Hagerty Price Guide: $1,150,000–$2,000,000
With a focus on safety and efficiency, Preston Tucker’s quirky three-eyed creation was ahead of its
time. The fact that only 51 Tucker 48s were built makes them rare, but the constant production
changes during that short one-year run mean each Tucker 48 is unique. This was the 44th car built
and showed fewer than 8,000 original miles.
4. 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe, RM Sotheby’s Monterey: $1,430,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
This lovely, roadworthy J benefited from a concours-winning restoration in 2007. The desirable
coachwork was once fitted to the Model J owned by chewing gum magnate Philip K. Wrigley, before
he and this car’s original owner—who coveted the coachwork of Wrigley’s J—traded bodies.
3. 1935 Duesenberg Model J Cabriolet, RM Sotheby’s Hershey: $1,485,000 (including premium)
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Belgian coachbuilders D’leteren built the elegant, athletic bodywork atop this Model J’s chassis,
marking the last standard Model J to be shipped to Europe for a bespoke body. The latest restoration
included new paint for the original frame, engine, firewall, and body as well as Marchal headlamps,
which are correct for European-delivery Duesenbergs.
2. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible, Worldwide Scottsdale: $1,980,000 (including
Hagerty Price Guide: $1,850,000 – $3,250,000
Just 10 L88 convertibles were built for 1967, and only one in Silver Pearl. Combine what is arguably
the most beautiful Corvette generation with the most potent engine available at the time, and you’ve
got a recipe for a valuable Bowtie.
1. 1933 Duesenberg Model SJ LaGrande Phaeton, RM Sotheby’s Auburn Fall: $2,300,000
Hagerty Price Guide: N/A
Truly one of a kind, this long-wheelbase model has a folding windshield on its second cowl that gives
rear-seat occupants the choice of adding a bit of wind protection, a feature absent on the rest of the
“sweep panel” phaetons built by Duesenberg’s in-house coachbuilder. After spending decades
naturally aspirated, the engine was returned to its original supercharged configuration in 1979.
When you have access to a truckload of information about classic cars and their owners, it seems
silly not to use it. So, the folks at Hagerty® did.
Hagerty created a color-coded map to illustrate which car is more popular by state, the 1964 1/2–66
Mustang or 1967-69 Camaro. It’s much like the Electoral College maps we see on television during
the presidential election, although less likely to cause family strife when discussed at the dinner
Some observations about the first-generation Mustang vs. Camaro map:
• Overall the numbers are practically equal; in the U.S., Hagerty insures about 32,000 of each
first-generation car. State by state, Camaros carry 30 states, Mustangs 20.
• In every state, Camaros are more valuable—on average—than Mustangs. Using Hagerty
Guaranteed Value® for each insured vehicle, the average Camaro is valued at $35,720,
while the average Mustang carries a value of $22,449.
• Mustangs are not necessarily a Baby Boomer car. “I thought states with more Baby
Boomers would explain the states with more Mustangs, but that isn’t the case,” says Hagerty
Senior Data Analyst John Wiley. “Only 35 percent of the states (seven) where Mustangs are
more numerous have more Baby Boomers. In fact, more often Millennials are more
numerous in the Mustang states.” Of the 13 states in which Baby Boomers are more
numerous, Mustang carried seven states and Camaro six.
• Utah is a big Camaro state. Camaros out number Mustangs by about 20%.
• Minnesota is a big Mustang state. Mustangs outnumber Camaros by 10%.
Go big or go home. That’s the theme of the newest Hagerty® Vehicle Rating—and they aren’t
talking about values. Two-thirds of the vehicles in the newest Top 25 ranking are trucks or SUVs,
and nearly 90 percent of them are valued at $16,000 or less.
Who is responsible for all this four-wheel-drive brawn? Millennials and Gen-Xers.
“The interest in trucks and SUVs is an effect of the changing demographics of the hobby,” says
Hagerty Valuation Information Analyst Jesse Pilarski. “Our insurance quoting data shows that
Millennials and Gen-Xers are nearly 30% more likely to quote a truck or SUV than Boomers and
Pilarski says, based on vehicles in No. 3 (or “good”) condition, that “the entry-level market [sub-
$25,000] is definitely the most vibrant, with an auction sell-through rate over 72%. That’s compared
to 68% for the middle market [$25,000-$250,000] and 62% for the high-end market [$250,000-plus].”
The Hagerty Vehicle Rating tracks a vehicle’s performance relative to the entire classic car/truck
market. Based on a scale of 0-100, a vehicle with a 50-point rating is keeping pace with the overall
market. Those above 50 are appreciating ahead of the average, while those below 50 are lagging.
The C/K has been in the top 25 for the last 16 months, but this is the first time it’s been the highestrated
vehicle. The truck’s Hagerty Price Guide value has risen 4% over the past four months, and it
has consistently outpaced both the auction and private sales market for the last 16 months.
“We’re seeing the most interest in the entry level market, and several factors play into that,” Pilarski
says. “Rare and desirable cars like Ferrari 275s, Mercedes-Benz 300SLs, and air-cooled Porsche
911s saw huge increases in value over the last five years, but now that values aren’t rising like they
were, interest has started to wane. Most buyers aren’t worried about losing $2,000 on a $20,000
purchase, but $20,000 on a $200,000 car? That’s a different story. Also, the stock market has been
performing well relative to car values, which may have pulled some of the interest away from those
Here’s a rundown of this month’s top 10:
1t. 1973-1987 Chevrolet C/K Series Pickup 96
1t. 1945-1968 Dodge Power Wagon 96
3t. 1976-1986 Jeep CJ-7 94
3t. 1993-2002 Pontiac Firebird 94
6t. 1994-1996 Chevrolet Impala SS 94
6t. 1973-1979 Ford F-Series 93
6t. 1960-1966 Chevrolet C/K Series 93
6t. 1994-2004 Ford Mustang 93
6t. 1966-1977 Ford Bronco 93
10t. 1978-1979 Ford Bronco 92
10t. 1981-1986 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler 92
10t. 1969-1972 Chevrolet C/K Blazer 92